What’s on your mind, today?
A bloody lot of shit. Well, I always have a lot on my mind, but lately it’s like really a lot. I’m generally quite moodswingy lately, which isn’t much like me to be so rapid, and that’s one thing, that, as I suppose, contributes to my brain’s hyperactivity, but another thing is that I think a lot about my future, career mainly.
My mind is just full of ideas, but then when I try to dig deeper into them, many seem not very likely to come true in the near future. Practically, the only option I have, all things cnsidered, is to become a freelancer, and then do some sort of translations, proofreadings, or, potentially, name related stuff, like baby naming, or helping writers or people wanting to rename themselves, or writing stuff about names.
I feel so flippin’ confused though, because I just don’t have a clue about neither freelancing, nor starting a job, nor having your own business, nor actually what, or how, I would be supposed to do things, I don’t know how to start it, how to actually do it, what to do first, I just have so many questions in my mind and no one around seems to be able to help me or give some relevant advice. I tried searching for some job offers for freelancers, and there seemed to be a lot of stuff I could do, but then also there seemed to be so many issues of all kinds. ‘Cause, I guess before you start working as a freelancer, you need to carry on some sort of business already, you can’t just start working out of nowhere, can you? Then I’m clueless about how to do it. And my Mum says it’s too early on now, that I first should start looking for some clients, and it makes me feel even more confused, ’cause how they’re going to hire me as a freelancer if I don’t have my own business. Even if it’s possible to work like this, everyone obviously wants to hire “experienced” people, and if I don’t have my own business, it definitely doesn’t even look like I’m experienced.
Then they of course want a CV, and then again I am clueless. I surely do have the knowledge in languages, I would be able to translate something, even if not from any special field, I would surely be able to translate some standard texts, and I think even specialised stuff would be manageable, it would just require more linguistic development, which is always good. But it doesn’t change the fact that I don’t have any linguistic education, well any higher education either. I know about people who work as translators or proofreaders without a translatory or linguistic degree, and my Swedish teacher who knew about my possibilities and my limitations always kept telling me that it doesn’t matter how many degrees I will have, only how well I can use a language, and if I can, they can’t say I can’t. It’s true, but is it really going to convince them? What the heck should I write in my CV then?
I can give them my portfolio and show what I can do practically, but how I am supposed to make one? What sort of stuff am I supposed to put in there, with the original versions or without? Wouldn’t it be against copyright or something? What exactly should it look like? I’ve read a few articles about making portfolio, but they didn’t give much of a practical info about how to make one actually.
I tried translating some text – an excerpt from the book “Amnesia” by Andrew Neiderman, which was the book I then read, in English, and which doesn’t have a Polish translation as of yet. I got really involved, both in the book and in translation, and, although its quality may not be the best (it’s the first longer, literary thing I’ve ever translated), I still think it’s good, I translated the prologue and the whole first chapter in one sitting, my brain was crumbling and creaking but I was enormously proud of myself. My Mum read it, MY DAD read it even, and my Dad asked if I’m going to continue ’cause if so he’d like to read it whole. I told him no, that I just wanted to test myself, and have a potential something to my portfolio in the future, be it nearer or further, but then I started to think more. I thought maybe I could translate it and publish it?
But after reading a whole lot on literary translations, I got really discouraged. Many people just openly say it’s not something you could make a living with. I’m not saying I wouldn’t NEVER EVER translate a book, but right now I just don’t think it would be a good idea, my writing craftsmanship is still way too poor and I should rather start with some smaller things.
But then if I’ll get an order and something to translate or proofread, what would I do if it wouldn’t be accessible for my screenreader? Like someone may want me to translate a website, but then it turns out it’s loaded with graphic, frames and stuff, and it’s barely readable for a screen reader… Another thing is that I have no idea how the process of translating a website looks like, but well, let’s leave it. Or they’d send me a document they have in some not very accessible form? That’s just crazy. For me, the most comfortable and accessible way to write someone a translation of anything would be to make it in a Word document. Or like I saw someone’s offer saying that they have a text to translate, but they want the translation to look exactly just like the source text. Cool, but what if my screen reader won’t tell me about some things that are in the source text? Like portions of text in a different colour, font, etc.? Just bloody shit, should I give it up then? After all, being a beginning translator, it’s not me who would set conditions, they can always look for someone who would do it as they want. So I just hope that accessibiltiy isn’t an issue very often in this field, but somehow it’s hard to believe.
These are just a couple of examples of the wild paths my brain is racing through recently. It just makes me feel sick. I also feel like my AVPD is happily joining in the fun and making me feel like it’s completely not doable. Like even if it would be doable for anyone else in just the same circumstances, it’s just simply not doable for me.
It makes me feel somewhat concerned, the frequency and amount of the situations that happen in which I feel so awfully overwhelmed, like everything feels so impossible to do or feels like so much effort, I wonder recently if it might be due to my depression getting worse or something? I just feel like it affects my functioning a lot. Sometimes just getting out of the house feels not manageable. It was never something I was good at, to just get out and be around people, but lately I feel I’ve become less functional, or so it feels. I talked about this to my therapist recently, but since we’re very new to each other, and not seeing that often in practice, it doesn’t feel like anything constructive had come out of it. I wish I could talk about it to my former therapist, as she worked with me for so long and got to know me really well.
It reminds me about a sort of a daydream, or maybe an imagining, or whatever it was, that I had as a little child, I guess at the nursery, or something like this. It was night time, and I guess I wasn’t sleeping, though maybe I could and it was simply a dream, but it was repeating a few times afterwards in a very similar form. I know I at first thought how I wouldn’t like to ever be adult, that it would be far more worse to be an adult. And then I had this dream or what else it was and saw myself as an adult, in a house that I didn’t recognise, that seemed very chaotic and disorganised, I guess I was in the kitchen, there were lots of children around me, and I had this overwhelming feeling that I just don’t know what to do. Like, what to do at the moment, and in general, I just had a very strong overall sense of hopelessness and helplessness, which just struck me – that little me. I don’t know from where I got it, as my parents are and were always very resourceful, maybe it’s about all the boarding school crap and that I was often in the situations that looked very similarly to the one I mentioned above. At the same period in my life they were making a little movie about the nursery I was in, and there was a scene where they asked us about what we would like to do in life. I said I would like to be a musician, since that was what I thought I’d like to do back then and didn’t know much about other things, there was a very strong pressure at that school for students to do something with music, and then when they talked about becoming parents I said something that my family is still laughing about, me included. I said “I won’t have a baby, when women don’t want to have children, they don’t have them. If a Mum can see she can change her baby’s nappy, but I can’t see and I don’t want to paw in its poo. Daddy would have to do it but dads can’t change nappies.” And I really didn’t want to have kids, but more because of the fact that I just couldn’t imagine myself having a baby and didn’t think I could make a good mum back then, I remember I completely didn’t understand some other girls who were pretending mums all the time.
Anyway, of some more positive things, remember I was writing to a baby name expert last week to ask her some stuff about the job? SO she didn’t write back, at least not as of yet, and somehow I feel like she won’t. But yesterday I wrote to another one – who actually seems closer to me, because she doesn’t look at names only as numbers in rankings, but more like something with a deep social meaning, not only a linguistic, literal one.
So she got back to me not so long ago. and from what she wrote to me, it seems like it’s even more of a niche thing than I thought it’s in the US. among lots of other stuff, she told me I should rather try to go into writing about names, like doing something on a larger scale, not just one to one. And that seems to make sense to me.
She offered me that I could write articles about Polish names for her website, which I obviously accepted and which is soo cool to do as a start. She also suggested that I could write a blog about names, also foreign ones, for the Polish audience, which I’m thinking about intensively. also that I could write for parenting websites or magazines which we have LOADS of here. I even know one that did do a series about names in the past, but it looked quite poor if I’m honest, even then I felt like I could make it better. So that’s an idea.
also, she started her career with writing a book, that changed naming trends in the US and the way people look at names, so she said maybe I could write one for the Polish market as well, but if I’m honest, right now I don’t think we’re up for such a major change. Only a few years have passed since our naming laws have been changed, they were very strict before. So, as you may remember I wrote in one of my previous posts, many of the name ideas that are OK for an American or even British person, may be completely abstractive and ridiculous for an average Pole, like unisex names or many word names or tons of qrrhee8tiffe spellings.
We have an institution here, roughly Polish Language Council, which gives opinions to parents or registry offices or however it’s called in other countries, about names. Like if the spelling of the name is correct and appropriate for the Polish ortography standards, if it doesn’t sound ridiculing, things like this. And sometimes when I don’t have anything better to do I like to scroll through tons of creative parents’ ideas and poor council members’ very serious opinions, often on very ridiculous names. And sometimes I like to share such sensational gems with people I know, like a mum wanting to call her son Kermit.
recently I told Zofijka I’ve heard that some parents wanted to call their daughter Tulipan (Tulip). Can be a cool name in ENglish, if you like flower or nature names, I like it, or Tiwlip in Welsh, if you’re more inventive and bold, if not Welsh. But you know what was Zofijka’s reaction? She laughed like crazy, for quite a while, meanwhile entertaining us with examples of all the ridiculous situations she could come up with, in which the name Tulipan would sound funny.
‘Cause it really is funny for most of us, the more that Tulipan ends in -n, and our girl names still usually end in a, as most of all the feminine gender nouns. And you wouldn’t call your son a clearly flowery name, usually, would you?
In my opinion it’s slightly weird though, why some flower names are bad and some are good. ‘Cause we have names like Róża/Rozalia (Rose/Rosalie), Lilia/Lilianna/all the other Lil- names, a very rare Hortensja, or even – very rarely used, but still – Hiacynt and Narcyz for boys. So why not, dunno, Cynia (Zinnia), Stokrotka (Daisy), Malwa (Mallow)?
I wouldn’t say Poles are narrow-minded, ’cause it’s quite the opposite, but with names, I feel like we have still a long way to come, and I am not talking about being crazy like celebrities, just more creative and thinking out of the box. ‘Cause so far I feel like our names are repeating every 3, max 5 generations, with some slight changes.
Oh gees, what a long digression!!!!!! Sorry… but I won’t delete it, you can just skip if you want, maybe it’ll be interesting for someone haha. Yeah writing is the only thing where I can still be somehow spontaneous.
Anyway, I am so happy she wrote to me and gave me so many great suggestions, although I am sort of sad that name consulting isn’t a thing, it sounded so promising and interesting.
After her email I feel slightly more cheered up.
Sorry it’s so long, but there you have it – my mind. A virtual trophy goes to you if you’ve made it through it all hahaha.
How about yours? 🙂